World Rugby U20s Irish quality defeats the All Blacks

Opened by a passionate Haka. However it was Ireland who went on to take first points. Fly half Bill Johnson nudging a penalty over. The next 5 minutes belonged to the All Blacks who threw the ball around as they are born to. 5 metres out 6 minutes into the game Jordie Barrett cut a line so perfect he did not need to do anything except glide over for a try.

However the rest of the half was mainly Ireland and Ireland’s forwards at that. They dominated the lineout and two driving mauls saw them score on either side of the pitch with Adam McBurney taking route one through the New Zealand full back after rolling off a maul. Great power and speed from the hooker.

In between the Irish dominance the All Blacks scored a beautiful try down the touchline in true Kiwi style. Barrett straightened up into a tackle and offloaded out the back to the winger Shaun Stevenson who opened his long legs to score. A try made in the land of the long cloud.

The half ended New Zealand 14 Ireland 20.

NZ v Ireland world rugby U20In the second half the rain really started to pour down to mark the start of summer in Manchester. So the Kiwis continued to throw the ball around. This time it worked and after a period of dominance they eventually crossed the line. A sublime flick from the replacement centre Jonah Lowe floated into the hands of the winger Malo Tuitama who danced in for a 5 pointer.

New Zealand then started to play in the Irish half with Barrett’s flicks, line breaks and general class obvious. However they couldn’t score and the Irish looked dogged in defence eventually forcing their way into the New Zealand 22. A series of massive Irish scrums then led to darting scrum half Kerin’s peeling round and putting big number 8 Max Deegan over for the try. The place erupted but were silenced when a minute later New Zealand had won the restart and spread it wide for Tuitama to score his second. But it was too late and an Irish penalty finished off an astounding game off 24 – 33 to the men in Green.

NU-Gen summary

Apparently this is the first Irish mens side to beat the All Blacks apart from Munster in the days of pig skin balls, moustaches and actual rucking. Fact.

The usual flair and offloading game was there for New Zealand but the execution was lacking. They will always score tries with individual magic but were really second best against Ireland. Irelands forwards stood shoulder to shoulder and lead by the captain James Ryan they looked like a proper unit. The rain is mentioned but it would be a disservice to Ireland to say this is why they won. Barrett stood out among a remarkably average looking New Zealand side. No one stood out for Ireland as they were all excellent to man. Next up are Georgia who they should beat to top the pool. Ireland contenders now? You have to think so.

NU-Gen MOM – Max DEEGAN (Just pips Captain Ryan)

NZ V Ireland World Rugby U20Ireland 33

  • Johnson – 10pts – p,p,c,c
  • McPhillips – 8pts – p,p,c
  • Deegan – 5pts – t
  • Jones – 5pts – t
  • McBurney – 5pts – t

New Zealand 24

  • Barrett – 9pts – t,c,c
  • Tuitama – 10pts – t,t
  • Stephenson – 5pts – t